Contemporary Gay American Novelists: A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook

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Emmanuel Sampath Nelson
Greenwood Press, Jan 1, 1993 - Literary Criticism - 421 pages
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Publication of this sourcebook on important gay American fiction writers grants legitimacy and recognition to this rapidly emerging area of literary studies. Though wary of canon-formation in this groundbreaking work, editor Nelson has selected fifty-seven writers whose works have received serious critical acclaim and/or have won large audiences or, in a few cases, are worthy of greater attention. Included are representative writers of detective fiction and science fiction, but not authors of erotic fiction or pulp novels. Also excluded are a few novelists whose expressed wishes for privacy were respected. Writers and their works are examined in the gay literary context, and a majority of the contributing essayists are themselves gay male scholars and writers who bring with them a level of personal and political sensitivity that is generally lacking in non-gay assessments of this literature.

Each entry begins with biographical information, proceeds to an interpretive summary of major works and themes, provides an overview of critical reception accorded the author, and concludes with bibliographies of primary and secondary materials. In a lively and perceptive introductory essay, Bredbeck inquires into what we mean by gay literature and the inherent tensions in these terms. Conceding the impossibility of speaking conclusively of gay literature, he nevertheless stresses the importance of the task and ends with a survey of critical studies of the gay male novel and works of gay male criticism.

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Contemporary gay American novelists: a bio-bibliographical critical sourcebook

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The 57 male novelists in this volume range from Isherwood and Baldwin to Maupin and Leavitt, with some lesser-known writers appearing as well. There are notable absences, but several authors requested ... Read full review


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About the author (1993)

EMMANUEL S. NELSON is Associate Professor of English at the State University of New York College at Cortland. His special interests in gay literature, post colonial literature, and ethnic American literature are reflected in his publications, including Connections: Essays on Black Literatures, AIDS: The Literary Response, and Reworlding: The Literature of the Indian Diaspora (Greenwood Press, 1992).

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